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>> josh, very well done, many don't understand how critical the area is. >> that will do it for me, cnn news room continues at the top of the hour with don lemon. and right now keep it here for sanjay gupta. thank you for joining us, shaquille o'neill will talk about diabetes and his family. he faces some of the same challenges that a lot of us do. also, we'll talk to president clinton who lost a friend to an accidental overdose from prescription pain pills. it is something that has bothered me. we can all make a difference, accidental death from prescription drug overdose, when you hear that, what do you think? maybe you think of cocaine, heroin or meth. but what would you think if i told you a lot of people die
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from perfectly legal prescriptions. many who die are not addicts. they are healthy, just like you probably or me. but for me, a story that really drove it home involved a young man named benjamin. on december 19th, 2011, benjamin gupta, a law university student died. he is no relationship to me, but when his family got word they spent hours trading phone calls. they were in stunned disbelief. >> i received a call from my m mom, i didn't answer, i got a text message from her which was very unusual. and i said what happened. she said it is ben. he died. i just -- i didn't have any
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information. >> i finally said how did this happen? and she said he went to sleep the night before, and he just never woke up. >> he was always smiling, you know, in every picture. >> for days, ben gupta's family was desperate for answers, what killed him? he was only 28 years old and had recently been given a clean bill of health. how could he just not wake up? >> and then the thought went through my mind that maybe it was a sort of brain aneurism, or something must have happened. >> reporter: but the family was in for a shock after the doctor called who performed the autopsy. >> and he said they found drugs in his system. >> they say he died from an overdose of narcotics, what do you think at that time. >> i was shocked.
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>> did you think it was possible, what you knew of your son? >> no, no. >> he worked for the state department and would graduate in a year with a dual law and mba degree, you know the type of person where it just doesn't run through your head that he is having a problem because he does so well. >> reporter: stewart bridge was a close friend of ben's. they met in grade school. they recalled a conversation that would later be very important. >> he had met somebody new, and really liked this new girl that he was dating. >> reporter: and ben told stewart that he and his new girlfriend had tried oxycodeine, and doing it regularly. now anybody else may just shrug off that conversation, but bridge was not just a friend. he is also a doctor, and he warned ben about taking the
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oxycodeine and mixing it with alcohol. >> i have seen people who died who have experimented with these medications. >> reporter: from just experimenting, the reason the line between experimentation and death it turns out is tenuous. these and other drugs like it are a depressant, slowing down the body's vital functions, breathing, heart rate, blood pressure. that is not usually a problem when the pills are prescribed for you. but when you add them to other depressants like alcohol or other prescription drugs, the effect is multiple. the brain function, heart rate, all grind to a halt. ben's deadly dose, according to his girlfriend was drinking beer and scotch throughout the day, along with an unknown quantity
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of the oxycodeine. when his blood level was tested it registered 4.0, here is the implication, it may not take much alcohol to tip the balance toward towards death. ben fell asleep in front of the tv, and by the next morning he had stopped breathing. >> it is still hard to talk about. >> what is? >> this. >> do you think it ever won't be? >> no, i think about him all the time. like i'm in d.c. today, so i went walking on the gw campus, looking for him. >> it is still so hard to hear, i met ben's family through former president bill clinton. and i'll tell you he is on a new crusade. and you're going to hear what he has to say about this. >> he was hard working but normal, liked to have a good time.
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he had -- i promise you that night he had no idea that he was turning out the lights. none. and if it is true of him it has to be true of a lot of other people. a desktop in zurich... and a telepresence room in brazil. the secure cloud helped us get some numbers from my assistant's pc in new york. and before i reached the top, the board meeting became a congrats we sold the company party. wait til my wife's phone hears about this. [ cellphone vibrating ] [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center, working together has never worked so well.
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fa . you know, a year ago i got a phone call i don't think i am ever going to forget. it was former president bill clinton who called to say a close friend's son had just died from an over cost of oxycodone, the pain killer, the friend was just reckless, mixing it with a few beers, in fact. the autopsy showed he was not legally drunk, didn't have that much to drink. but the combination was enough to kill him. and when he called me, the former president, seemed to be almost in shock. he asked for help, he asked me to do something. >> when you called me and told me about ben gupta, i could tell in your voice, you were pretty broken up. you know him well, what kind of kid was he?
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>> a light shined out of him. that is all i could tell you. he grew up, he was big, strong, handsome, smart, and wanted to make something of his life. he was normal, liked to have a good time, hard working, i promise you that night he had no idea that he was turning out the lights, none. and if it is true of him it has got to be true of a lot of other people. >> when you called me and asked -- i wrote this down. you put it like this, nobody thinks drinking a few beers and having oxycontin -- do you think he had any idea of the dangers? >> no, i don't think he in any idea what the chemistry of his brain was, that part of the brain that tells you to keep on
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breathing when you're asleep. there is no way in the world that he would have done that had he known it. nor do i think the young woman that was with him had a clue. he was a really smart, educated guy. all of us, the whole culture needs to think of this. not a single person needs to die. >> do you think other doctors such as myself need to say look, this is no joke. if you take this with alcohol could you die? >> yes. >> does it need to be that dramatic? >> yes. >> if people see this on the warning labels, on the bottle, and they think i'm fine, they don't know the chemistry, the interaction of the chemistry and the brain, they just don't know. so i think it should just be explained in more common explicit language, and i would like somebody to look me in the
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eye and say you can't do this, this, or this. if i were you, you shouldn't have a glass of wine with this. you can't control what happens when you fall asleep. >> this may be a statistic that you know, but i was surprised. 80% of the world's pain prescriptions are in this country. i didn't know that, does that surprise you? >> no, because -- >> is that a cultural problem? >> yes, it is cultural. you know, people think i have a headache or i have this, my elbow is sore, or whatever. look, i don't want to minimize, there are a lot of people who live with courage, they're in constant pain all the time, for reasons they can't control. they need relief and need to get it. but there is no question, since we represent 5% of the world's people, and far less than 80% of the people in the world with above-average incomes, we got no business popping as many pills
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as we do. >> the clinton administration announced a five-year plan to address this situation, to prevent those deaths. and ben's father, he pledged a million to help support this. coming up in time for thanksgiving, how to avoid food poisoning. ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] you've been years in the making.
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i guess he's a kicker... again, again! oh, no you don't! take a step forward and chase what matters.
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you know for many people, and i include myself in this
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category, leftovers are the best part about thanksgiving. but also, according to the american association of poison control centers, next to summertime, the holidays are the busiest time of the year for them. they field a lot of questions about food poisoning and safety. so i want to give you a simple tip to help you keep from making one of those calls next week. just remember this, the 2-4-4 rule, put the food in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking, cool it, eat the refrigerator leftovers within four days or toss them out. now rich clifford wanted to travel to space. after graduating from west point, clifford's dreams came true. but after two missions he was diagnosed with a brain disease. but he refused to let that stop him from flying again. for most of us, this view is the
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closest we'll ever get to outer space. but it is this view that astronaut rich clifford has had three times. when he blasted into space above the space shuttle discovery in 1992, on endeavour, and atlantis, in 1996. when he flew his last shuttle mission clifford was carrying a secret. he had recently been diagnosed with parkinson's disease. >> i didn't really have any symptoms other than my right arm. >> reporter: he had just had a physical with a clean bill of health. but when he told his doctor about his arm, he made an appointment. >> he looked at me, said i have parkinson's. >> reporter: the nasa doctors later cleared him, and nine months later, clifford was heading back to space on board atlantis. >> with the crew, just walked
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with my left arm swinging, the right arm is hanging there. the symptoms didn't go away, but it didn't interfere with my job. >> reporter: only the shuttle commander knew. >> it was going over 650 miles an hour. >> reporter: and with that flight came a once in a lifetime opportunity. his six-hour space walk. >> it was fantastic, definitely fantastic. the space walk is a privilege and something that every astronaut searches for. >> reporter: for years, the stiffness in his arm was his only symptom. and then three years ago, the trembling began, followed by head-bobbing. his doctor wanted him to go public with the story many times. and last year, 17 years after being diagnosed, he finally did. >> i got diagnosed at 42 years old. >> reporter: now he travels around the country, raising awareness of the disease, he
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says it helps him. >> i keep encouraging people to stay focused on what you want to do in life. and stay on that path. nothing should hold you back. >> reporter: and clifford is on a new mission. he wants to raise understanding and awareness of parkinson's disease. the story is told in a new documentary that is currently in production called "the astronaut secret". and you probably recognize this guy, a little hard to miss, nba legend shaquille o'neill, he joins me next. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso. i just served my mother-in-law your chicken noodle soup but she loved it so much... i told her it was homemade. everyone tells a little white lie now and then. but now she wants my recipe [ clears his throat ] [ softly ] she's right behind me isn't she? [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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on gasoline. i am probably going to the gas station about once a month. last time i was at a gas station
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was about...i would say... two months ago. i very rarely put gas in my chevy volt. i go to the gas station such a small amount that i forget how to put gas in my car. [ male announcer ] and it's not just these owners giving the volt high praise. volt received the j.d. power and associates appeal award two years in a row. ♪ [ gordon ] for some this line is a convenience. how you doing today? i'm good thanks. how are you? i'm good. [ gordon ] but for others, it's all they can afford. every day nearly nine million older americans don't have enough to eat. anything else? no, not today. join me, aarp, and aarp foundation in the drive to end hunger by visiting
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and helping us chase life today is an nba legend, he really needs no introduction, shaquille o'neal, here to talk about solutions to one of the biggest killer in america, diabetes, i don't know if you knew this, shaquille. one in three people by the year 2050 expected to be diabetes in this one, wow, a third of all americans. what do you think when you hear that some.
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>> it is alarming, you know, i think we as american people need to try to help the issue. you know, try to stay healthy. there are a lot of healthy alternatives rather than just eating candy all the time. >> how is your health? obviously as a professional athlete you exercise a lot. you took flak sometimes during the season, for your weight. >> it is going good, you know, i was the first guy when you hear you know, guys 350, of course, regular people when you hear 350, you obviously think obese, as you can tell by my playing career, i'm fifth in scoring. but they would automatic go, oh, he is out of shape. and i admit, it was my method of madness, i wanted to just hang out with the family, and play.
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and even now, my body is only 13%. >> so how big are you? >> i'm 7'1". >> how much do you weigh? >> 350 -- >> give or take a little bit. >> i don't know if you can tell, we're actually similar size, obesity is something that leads to type two diabetes, two thirds of the country is overweight or obese. we were not always that way in this country. why did we arrive at this place? why did it become okay? >> i think now, especially when it comes to dealing with children, there are more temptations to make you stay at home. when i was coming up, there was no iphone or twitter or social media network. it was come home, go outside and play, aka, burn calories, stay
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in shape. come back in the house. but now, because of what is happening in the society, i went to this place, where five kids, keep them in shape, one parent said we live in a dangerous community. one parent said i blame it on schools because schools are cutting the pe program. it is a different world we live in. i always urge parents, if you can, eat healthy and help your kids to get exercise and try to keep them in shape. >> how personal is this for you? you talk about it with your family and friends. >> it is very personal for me, i see them struggle, take the pills, you know, have to do certain things to keep up with it. so again, if i can help, help in any way i want to be there for that person who said shaquille said do this, glucose, quick stick, help with the diabetes,
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i'll do it. >> your family members who you're concerned about, do they listen to you? >> they listen to me, you know, eisenhower said the greatest leaders are the ones smart enough to hire people smarter than them. so when i get on the phone, i have intelligent conversations, i talk to people like you, it is not me making it up. like dad, i talked to this guy, or uncle, i talk to this guy or sister, i talked to this guy, and this is what he said. your own health, you said you're doing pretty well. you look fit. i imagine it would be hard to keep the weight off, especially when you're not playing sports. but just your regular day to day diet. how well are you monitoring yourself? >> you know, i have never eaten a lot. i have cut down the bread. i can't stop eating my brownies, i'm not going to lie to you, america. no, i cut down on the bread. so in the morning i wake up, i
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have an omelet, for lunch, a salad, and dinner, steak or fish. i try to stay away from the sodas and candies, i try to do an hour on the treadmill. >> do you ever do triathlon? >> no, i don't get credit for that. >> we have a recruiter around the country, trying to practice what we preach. you don't have to be an nba superstar to be a triathlon, right there, these people never did a triathlon before, everyday viewers who simply wanted to make a change in their lives. so what we did was hook them up with bikes, trainers, training trips, as well all over the country. and just a few weeks ago you got to see them cross the finish

Sanjay Gupta MD
CNN November 17, 2012 1:30pm-2:00pm PST

Series/Special. Dr. Gupta discusses medical issues. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Clifford 6, Us 4, Diabetes 3, Parkinson 2, Gordon 2, Unitedhealthcare Insurance Company 2, Bill Clinton 2, America 2, Shaquille 2, Shaquille O'neill 2, Stewart 2, Ben Gupta 2, Summertime 1, Aarp 1, Nasa 1, Cisco 1, Fa 1, Cnn 1, Clinton Administration 1, New York 1
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